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Old 01-27-14, 11:10 AM   #1
kv501
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Chicagoans Help

My 7 y.o. son and I are taking an Amtrak trip from Nebraska to Pennsylvania later this summer, and we switch trains in Chicago. Our itinerary says we have a 3hr 50min layover; is that enough time to get from Union Station to the Willis tower and back? My son wants to check out the sky deck.

I've never been to downtown Chicago and I have no idea if it's doable to walk to the building, get up there, and get back to the train station. Any info would be awesome.
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Old 01-27-14, 12:11 PM   #2
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My 7 y.o. son and I are taking an Amtrak trip from Nebraska to Pennsylvania later this summer, and we switch trains in Chicago. Our itinerary says we have a 3hr 50min layover; is that enough time to get from Union Station to the Willis tower and back? My son wants to check out the sky deck.

I've never been to downtown Chicago and I have no idea if it's doable to walk to the building, get up there, and get back to the train station. Any info would be awesome.
I'm not from Chicago, but Google Maps seems to think that it's a 5 minute walk across the Chicago River. Go to Google Maps and click on Directions. Start at Union Station, and your destination is Willis Tower. Both the Jackson and Canal locations point to the same building for Union Station.
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Old 01-27-14, 01:43 PM   #3
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Yes it's a very short walk... costs like $40/ person to go up top nowadays I believe.
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Old 01-27-14, 02:20 PM   #4
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According to http://theskydeck.com/ticketsshop/general-pricing/, tickets are $19 for adults and $12 for kids. $40 is if you want the Fastpass.

"Fast Pass admission gives guests the option to bypass the interactive exhibits and the “Reaching For The Sky” theater presentation and be within 2-4 elevator rides from the Skydeck."

There are other options on their website as well.
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Old 01-27-14, 02:44 PM   #5
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I swear they have some b.s. rules where sometimes you can only buy the fast pass. Like they operate only those elevators at times.
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Old 01-27-14, 02:50 PM   #6
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... factor in waiting-in-line time and it is iffy I bet.
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Old 01-27-14, 02:51 PM   #7
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Once you get there, trick the engineer into releasing all the steam. It should take quite a long time to rebuild sufficient pressure in the boiler. This should give you the time you need to enjoy the exhibit.
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Old 01-27-14, 02:52 PM   #8
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Also, go to the Billy Goat tavern and try to order a coke.
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Old 01-27-14, 03:53 PM   #9
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You'll be really close as everyone says. Your vertical commute will be farther than your horizontal one if you go to the top.

I used to get asked "where is the Sears tower" years ago when I worked in the loop, and people always got embarrassed when I told them to look up to find it if they got lost on their way over.
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Old 01-27-14, 03:54 PM   #10
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Also, go to the Billy Goat tavern and try to order a coke.
And fries.
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